Ministerial Salary Review

Just a few points to add to the discussion. The appointment of the Chairman of the Review Committee desirably should be someone that is not only independent but must be seen as independent from all the parties affected. A foreign academic, a professor of some international standing can also be considered. Ideally the committee should be free to deliberate with absolutely no worries about breach of confidentiality. The concept of life long pension for elected people’s representative shall be scrapped. Elected representative of the people is not an employment where there is a career path, a route of advancement, annual appraisal and a performance bonus. It shall be a fixed allowance for the 5 year term of office. A one time gratuity may be offered to those who served at ministerial level and above and after a certain number of terms. It has been proven that many good and able citizens are willing to step forward to run for political office without the attraction of a huge payroll. A huge payroll will attract the wrong kind of people with wrong motivation. The myth that there are no good candidates without big dollars has been debunked. For comparison, the portfolio of a politician is very different from the CEOs in the private sector. The latter can be used as a kind of a guide, but one cannot totally ignore the remuneration of politicians in other countries. They are relevant and comparison with them will provide a better perspective of what public office is all about. Pay well, no one is against that. Pay well enough so that they are not tempted to be corrupt. This is a bit controversial but the people would go along up to a point. No need to pay excessively for this. If any public officer is tempted to put his fingers in the cookie jar, let the CPIB take care of it. No amount is good enough to keep a greedy person from turning bad. As for the Presidency, a totally new mindset must be applied as the current premises are far from what that office represents. A ceremonial President with no executive role except a custodial role, should remain more or less a ceremonial role. The remuneration shall be assessed accordingly. The Presidential Office shall not continue to be the joke of the people because of its grossly overpaid salary. It is already a great honour for any citizen to be elected into the Office. A decent and respectable allowance is more than adequate. Citizens seeking this office must not be attracted by the money. Some will even be willing to pay to have this honour. The dignity of the Office of the Presidency must not be tarnished by the controversy over money. An impartial and independent Review Committee is necessary to serve up a recommendation that is relatively more objective and appropriate for those in political office. There will be less doubts and controversies than what it is now.


Anonymous said...

The composition of the review committee and its terms of refernce suggest that it's a half-baked effort at salaries' reform.

Certainly not expecting to see major cuts in their pay.


Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi Renho,

Expect to hear, we are unique, we are different, our circumstances are different.

Anonymous said...

Truth be told, I have a feeling too that the cuts will just be token to allay the cry for blood. And that was just speculation.

To be honest, the composition of the review committee seems to me, made up of strange bedfellows. Interpret any way you want.

Anonymous said...

When they start to argue about being unique or different, we better tell them to forget about the review.

Very soon they will start to bring out the old staid argument that they are making decisions involving billions and Singapore will sink if they make the wrong decisions.

Thank God, people do not buy into those arguments blindly any more. They can compare what politicians in other countries are getting and some are governing countries hundreds of times bigger with more problems than we can imagine.

Anonymous said...

Without national referendum, how is the public involve in this Salary Review? And if the People are not involved, how is the Review Committee to assess what is the peoples' wishes about remunerating their ruling politicians?

If ultimately, the Salary Review is carried out by a committee that is appointed by the VERY PEOPLE WHOSE REMUNERATIONS THE SAID COMMITTEE ARE REVIEWING, how not to be skeptical about it?
In any case, the Committee comprised of many members of those that are affiliated and or are seen to be PAP strong supporters.

The least the Government can do to make the people believe in this Pay Review Exercise is to involve the Alternative Parties Members. There is a welknown elected member in WP, Chen Show Mao who should be very qualified as well as some other prominent members in other parties as well.

There is a need to engage the Public and the Alternative Politicians in this Review as there is this inseparable relationship of the Rulers and the Ruled. In fact, it is said that the Rulers Incomes are from the People.

Anyway, the Salary Review MUST NOT be seen as another 'self determined' exercise anymore. The Rulers MUST BELIEVE that the PEOPLE CAN BE PISSED OFF if they're exposed to too much 'wayang'(play/acting).

Anonymous said...

The most dangerous part is the pension scheme. It is a bottomless well that will become the burden of the future generations if it is not removed.

Anonymous said...

With the salary review hoarding the limelight, doesn't anyone want to know what is the total pay of ministers last year after all the big bonuses?

And doesn't anyone want to know who and how much pensions have the ministers been getting?

Anonymous said...

There is a stark reality in the air that after years of being waylaid by the ruling party, any thing that the ruling party may want to do is now taken with suspicion and disbelief.

There is obviously a great deal to be done by the ruling party to dispel this cynicism, if at all possible, before what they say is going to be taken at face value.

This is a sad development. Really sad that it arises from their own doing.

Anonymous said...

Another issue is the "Gold Card"
Rememner the $8.00 bypass :)

Anonymous said...

Sori. Typo error. Should be "remember"

Singaporean Voter said...

A very simple to ask is: What has caused the review?

Is it because of GE 2011 elections result, whereby voters are very unhappy about ministerial salaries?

If that is so, then I want to ask this:

Is Gerald Ee, a elected by the people to represent them? If not, what moral standing has he got to represent the whole of Singapore, especially the unhappy voters, to even make an attempt to look into the Minister's Salaries? Just because the PM has directed him to do so? Is he a pro-PAP man or not?
Can we really trust this man?

Moreover, before he even started, he has immediately brushed aside "politics' as a criteria and want to look at the ministers responsiblilty as a "JOB" and compare with private sector.

First, how can a politician be divorced of politics. Politics is his sole bread and butter. How can one assess the politician's remuneration/rewards without taking into consideration politics? It is just like saying that a prostitute's income should not be tied to prostitution. What a absurd consideration this Gerald Ee has.

Second, a politicial's (especially ministers) responsibilities cannot be looked at like any other "JOB" because it is simply NOT a JOB but a CALLING, a COMMITMENT, a SERVICE to the NATION.

Wake up, Gerald Ee. Don't put limitations to yourself even before you started.

And don't take the people as fools!

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi Singaporean Voter, welcome to the blog.

You have raised many pertinent points. The more people raised the more views will, hopefully, be heard, and a more objective recommendation be made.

At the moment people are very sceptical.